Most Expensive Since May 2019By CBSMiami.com Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Florida gas prices jumped 11 cents last week. The state average is now $2.72 per gallon; the most expensive daily average price since May 2019.

Florida’s average price for gasoline has climbed 26 cents since mid-February, when an arctic blast caused power outages to crude oil refineries in Texas and surrounding states. Many of those refineries are still working to return to full operations.

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So far this year, Florida gas prices have increased an average of 53 cents per gallon (since January 1). Pump prices increased 18 cents in January, 24 cents in February, and 11 cents so far in March.

There are many factors causing upward pressure at the pump. The driving forces are:

  • Tightening global crude oil supplies. OPEC and its allies plan to extend crude oil production cuts, to further tighten supplies and pressure fuel prices higher.
  • Lower gasoline supplies. Domestic gasoline supplies have declined due to power outages at US crude oil refineries caused by arctic weather.
  • Rising gasoline demand. Speculation within the fuel market is that Covid-19 vaccines and stimulus money will entice people to drive more.
  • Summer gasoline moving into the market. This gasoline blend has more components – required by the EPA – and is more expensive to produce.
  • Geopolitical tensions in Syria. Missile strikes to oil refineries and loading docks in Syria could cause additional concerns in the fuel market about less crude oil in the global market.
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“Florida gas prices could rise again this week,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Crude oil prices surged last week after OPEC and its allies announced plans to extend production cuts beyond April. The move piles more upward pressure on pump prices that were already responding to power outages at petroleum plants in the US. It’s possible gas prices could rise another 10 cents as early as Monday.”

Last week, the price of US crude oil reached a new 2021 high of $66.09 per barrel. Friday’s closing price was $4.59/b (7%) more than the week before, and the highest daily settlement since April 2019.

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Regional Prices

  • Most expensive metro markets – West Palm Beach – Boca Raton ($2.83), Fort Lauderdale ($2.75), Port St. Lucie ($2.74)
  • Least expensive metro markets – Punta Gorda ($2.67), Jacksonville ($2.68), Fort Myers-Cape Coral ($2.69)

CBSMiami.com Team